Art and Photography

Any tips for amazing portrait shot edits?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 9th, 2019 2:14 am
Oct 18, 2018
31 posts

Any tips for amazing portrait shot edits?

Been focusing on portraits the past few months and I'm quite the newbie on this department. I've seen really great shots by other that were even made more amazing after post processing. I've been using Picktorial for my edits and I tried applying some tips I found here but can't seem to properly define the eyes. Somehow it always appears too "cartoony" when I sharpen the eyes to make it look alive.

How do you often do the edits on your portrait shots, especially the eyes? What editor do you use?

3 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 5, 2010
1044 posts
I use Photoshop for my portraits retouching. For the eyes, I use dodge and burn on a separate overlay layer and I use the angle of the light to apply the amount I need. That way, I can control the opacity later on and make sure it doesn't look too weird, or cartoony like you said.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
3995 posts
Do you have examples of a shot you have taken? It is harder to fix a bad shot, than it is to adjust an already good shot. Do you have the technicals down?

Honestly, the shot in the article is pretty poor, and sharpening the eyes, brightening them with simple tools like exposure and will make them look cartoony and unnatural if exaggerated.

Frequency separation, dodge and burn, selective high pass sharpening, eye colour enhancements, colour grading. These are more advanced retouching techniques but ones that high end portrait photographers use. I've never used Piktorial but I would expect it to be similar to Lightroom, which is not the best method to do advance editing.

Lightroom for RAW adjustments, Photoshop for retouching.
User avatar
Dec 9, 2018
29 posts
1 upvote
For quick headshot enhancement, I use Portrait Magic: Auto face improvement, aka AI, woks quite OK. If it's not enough for you, go for manual editing of the face pars, it's available as well. Also, PhotoWorks comes with other editing tools, for example, adjustment brush is perfect to sharpen the eyes and avoid unnatural 'cartoonish' look: ... oto.php#p3